Europe

A Walk Through Amsterdam at Night

A walk through Amsterdam at night begins, for us, in the Red Light District, an area known worldwide for its famous red lights and the ladies who dance in the windows beneath their glow.

We walk through quickly, stifling our laughter when we pass by the windows with the curtains drawn open, and then proceed to spend the rest of the evening subconsciously humming Roxanne by The Police.

A Walk Through Amsterdam At Night

A Walk Through Amsterdam At Night

We explore many side streets, the air scented with the distinctive fragrance of cannabis wafting from the colorful coffee shops on practically every corner.

A Walk Through Amsterdam At Night

We window shop in the curious souvenir shops along the main streets. (Amsterdam has to be the only place in the world where you can buy both fine china and a phallus-shaped bong in the same store.)

A Walk Through Amsterdam At Night

Our walk then takes us to the heart of the city, Dam Square. It’s early evening, around nine o’clock, and the city is just beginning to pulse with the electric vibe of its spirited nightlife.

A flame thrower entertains a crowd of tourists. A group of kids lounge on a monument drinking from red plastic cups. The air smells of a dozen different cuisines as restaurants fire up their grills for the dinner crowd. Many people sit around, as we do, just taking in the scene.

A Walk Through Amsterdam At Night

A Walk Through Amsterdam At Night

It gets later and the rumbling in our bellies tells us it’s time for an after dinner snack. We stop at a small cafe and sit next to a group of girls playing Uno and smoking a joint without a care in the world about who might see them. It’s a different culture here, that’s for sure.

A Walk Through Amsterdam At Night

Our evening ends with a quiet stroll along the canals, lit up with the glow from streetlamps and cafes. These walks along the water are my favorite, and leave me wanting to move into a houseboat alongside the Thames upon our return home.

A Walk Through Amsterdam At Night

There are two sides to this unusual city. The Amsterdam that is peaceful and laid-back by day becomes so very magnetic and vibrant at night. I love this city’s ability to simultaneously astonish me with its beauty and bewilder me with its culture. That kind of discovery is exactly what traveling is all about.

To check out Amsterdam by day, have a look here!

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A Walk Through Amsterdam At Night

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21 Comments

  • Reply
    Diana Bockus
    September 14, 2013 at 8:02 AM

    You described it so well! I could feel and see it! It’s beautiful! The architecture just fascinates me!

  • Reply
    Kerry
    September 5, 2013 at 2:33 PM

    Absolutely! I love that last sentence :)

    Do you find it a little scary visiting a new place with a different culture? I think I would at first…and what do you tell Lexie when she asks questions about the pot or the window dancers?

  • Reply
    Ashlee - I'll Love You Forever
    September 1, 2013 at 12:37 PM

    Beautiful!! These pictures are amazing! Every new post I read makes me want to go there even more :)

  • Reply
    Jen Mc
    September 1, 2013 at 12:31 PM

    What a beautiful walk! Thanks for taking me along. :)

  • Reply
    Connie Weiss
    September 1, 2013 at 10:10 AM

    Oh man….now I want to go to Amsterdam!

  • Reply
    Sara Louise
    August 30, 2013 at 6:25 PM

    Even though I’ve never been to Amsterdam, from an outside prospective it definitely does seem like it has two distinct personalities and seamlessly flips back and forth between the two with each sunrise and sunset. It’s very cool :)

  • Reply
    Erin P
    August 30, 2013 at 12:05 PM

    Gorgeous pictures and superb writing! Makes me wish I were there! :)

  • Reply
    Shaylynn
    August 30, 2013 at 8:51 AM

    It is so beautiful. Granted I wish that those “photos” were appropriate for your blog. life just isn’t fair.

  • Reply
    Emma @ AdventuresofaLondonKiwi
    August 30, 2013 at 12:49 AM

    It just looks amazing!

  • Reply
    Tammy Chrzan
    August 29, 2013 at 11:59 AM

    You seriously crack me up…
    China and bongs? Which did you buy?
    And you want a house boat? I just want to vacation on one of those long narrow river boats, the ones that go up and down the canals in England, I’m sure you’ve seen them if you’ve ventured into the UK away from London, they just amaze me…
    England is a different world outside of London after all!!!
    Back to this post, I also laughed to find out you were in the red light district, funny stuff… Was your daughter with you??! Well… Now she knows about the Worlds oldest profession! (Remind her how important college is at this point :)
    What an amazing city!
    Lets go! Lets smoke a… never mind.

  • Reply
    Janette Johanson
    August 29, 2013 at 9:26 AM

    I think of Amsterdam as being like Las Vegas— the city of sin but yet so much wonder! I think I would be walking with my head down in the red light district– I can’t really even look up when I’m in a gym locker room at the risk of seeing something inappropriate! ha! Sure does look beautiful!! You are a great writer!!

  • Reply
    Postcards from Rachel
    August 29, 2013 at 7:16 AM

    I wish I would have taken more photos in the red light district. it was such an unusual experience!

  • Reply
    Emmymom
    August 29, 2013 at 4:54 AM

    Yes definitely a different culture there. Like you said it does almost seem like a contradiction, the old time majestic buildings and the very modern and open culture.

  • Reply
    Nicole
    August 29, 2013 at 2:47 AM

    I still just can’t get over how beautiful and quaint all of the buildings are, and how gorgeous this place actually is. Where is your guys’ next adventure taking you?!?!

  • Reply
    Michelle
    August 29, 2013 at 2:31 AM

    Wow so pretty!

  • Reply
    Natalie
    August 29, 2013 at 2:17 AM

    You absolutely take the best photos! Gorgeous city!

  • Reply
    Katrin
    August 29, 2013 at 12:57 AM

    I love that city so much! When we were there last time the ladies in the windows all looked really bored and they were texting instead of dancing. :)

  • Reply
    Charlotte Hayes
    August 28, 2013 at 11:52 PM

    I need to go to Amsterdam STAT! All the pics of your trip have been amazing – you are so lucky!

  • Reply
    Chelsea @ Lost in Travels
    August 28, 2013 at 11:33 PM

    ok i’m booking a ticket! i love looking through your photos! i so wish that we could go to amsterdam some day!

  • Reply
    stephanie
    August 28, 2013 at 11:29 PM

    That is insane! I can’t even imagine what that would be like. That said, you have such a way with words- I am so enjoying living vicariously through your travels!

  • Reply
    Nicole @ Treasure Tromp
    August 28, 2013 at 11:23 PM

    incredible. I want to see both sides of the city so badly!

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